Backups - If you don't have one expect to loose your data

Backups - The 3-2-1 Rule: If you don't have one expect to loose your data

Do I need to have a backup?

Throw your computer/electronic device out the window, and then ask yourself do you want to get access to anything that was once on your device. If you say "OMG, I need xyz back!", then you need to have a backup solution.

The 3-2-1 Backup Strategy

  1. Have at least THREE copies of your data
  2. Store the copies on TWO different types of media
    • For example one copy is on the c: drive under your Windows/Mac profile
    • A second copy is on an external USB Hard drive
  3. Keep ONE backup copy offsite
    • Because of the advent of crypto viruses starting in 2016, if you don't have an offsite/offline backup a crypto virus will encrypt all data backups that it can reach (which would include a connected USB Hard drive backup)

What this usually looks like is:

  • 1 copy is the live data on the computer/device
  • 1 copy is usually a locally attached HDD (or NAS if you have multiple devices)
  • 1 copy is an online backup service: 
    • PC Rangers Hosted backup
    • idrive
    • carbonite etc


If you have all Mac devices, use the iCloud Photos service (but you will most likely have to pay for upgraded storage space)

Otherwise and on top of iCloud Photos: Google photos as it's cloud based, automatic from your most likely acquisition source (your phone) and you get a lot of additional features with it: Great search, highlighting, fixes and enhanced pictures etc.

A backup should...

  1. Preferably a run automatically without you having to do anything/plug in anything
  2. You should check to make sure it's running every week/month/quarter

What is NOT a backup

  • RAID array (0, 5, 10 etc)
  • When you move data from one place to another. If there is only one copy of the information on an external Harddrive when that Harddrive dies you will loose the information

PC Rangers Hosted backup

White: Has been backed up within the last 5 days
Yellow: Actively backing up
Red: Hasn't been backed up in over 5 days


You'll check the icon in the systray (bottom right by the clock - it may be hidden in the up arrow)

To force the backup to start right-click the icon and choose "Do incremental file backup".
Note: It takes the computer being online several minutes before that option appears in the menu.
Force backup to start


If you're using a Mac, there should be two backups configured on your computer:
Time Machine

Make sure the date is recent.

The 2nd backup is the online backup

Again make sure the date is recent.

Veeam Backup - Backup on PC's to external HDD

Hover your mouse over the icon to see extra info

iPhone Backup

There are two different backups available and you should be using both.


This should be setup when you first get the device.
This will be your primary backup you will rely on in the event of hardware failure/loss etc.
Settings | Your Name at the top | iCloud | iCloud Backup
  1. Make sure it's on
  2. Make sure you're connected to wifi when you're at home/work 
  3. And check the last backup date regularly (weekly/monthly to make sure it's running)

Offline/Local device using itunes

Plug your phone into your computer and run an itunes backup.
Making the backup encrypted will make sure passwords/health data etc gets backed up. The password is per computer itunes installation

When do you run it? Periodically:
  1. Before (major) iOS updates
  2. Monthly/quarterly
  3. Before buying new phone

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